Ziggy, I realised only the other day, is close to 50 years old. That’s a darn’ good age for a rat! He first saw the light of day on a page of an exercise book (probably a maths book as mine always had a lot of blank pages!). At first, he was simply a doodle.But, like most of my other “characters” he was soon calling the shots. And so Ziggy became a commentator, voicing his opinion on just about everything, from stupid homework assignments, to All Blacks selection, to politics. And much besides. What became of him? I don’t remember; I suppose he was overtaken, superseded by all the other teenage preoccupations. This version is not the original, but it must be pretty old as I found it inside an old book.

And his name? Well, if you haven’t figured it out, he’s Ziggy Rat because he’s a rat on a ziggurat! (I think that beret, dark glasses and droopy fag were something to do with the influence of Jack Kerouac and the Beat poets!)

And now… for something completely different.

Work in progress…
...a new run-off pipe being laid. Then that pile of gravel has to be washed of its accumulation of silt and shovelled over the pipe. This is what we call a dirty weekend! (That’s the Royal “we” as my contribution is minimal!)

The Man called me to see this yesterday…
as this is all we can see of her, we are not sure exactly “who” she is! The book suggests Bristlebird, but need more information, Grasshopper.

I didn’t want to get too close, but The Man says there are two eggs. And this nest is only about 1200mm off the ground, in a graptophyllum shrub which has been severely pruned!

Sunday, before breakfast…
...we walked down to the beach.

A grey, lumpy sea was hurling itself onto the rocks, in spiteful and salty spray.

We dawdled home, along the street gazetted as Mango Avenue, but, at least in my mind, known as Arthur Rackham Lane.

And here’s a view of the tidal channel through those mangroves

And before I get out of the office and into the laundry ( insert” grumpy” face), here’s a little something you may not be aware of. Thanks again to my finder-of-facts, Geni.


Easter this year is: Sunday March 23, 2008

As you may know, Easter is always the 1st Sunday after the 1st full moon after the Spring Equinox (which is March 20). This dating of Easter is based on the lunar calendar that Hebrew people used to identify Passover, which is why it moves around on our Roman calendar.

Based on the above, Easter can actually be one day earlier (March 22) but that is pretty rare. This year is the earliest Easter any of us will ever see the rest of our lives! And only the most elderly of our population have ever seen it this early (95 years old or above!). And none of us have ever, or will ever, see it a day earlier!

Here are the facts:

The next time Easter will be this early (March 23) will be the year 2228 (220 years from now).

The last time it was this early was 1913 so if you’re 95 or older, you are the only ones that were around for that.

The next time it will be a day earlier, March 22, will be in the year 2285 (277 years from now).

The last time it was on March 22 was 1818. So, no one alive today has or will ever see it any earlier than this year!

I emailed a couple of photos to a local bird lady and she is pretty certain we have a Colluricincla megarhynca. Common name of Rufous Shrike Thrush. And, since I can pronounce neither after a couple of sherberts, I’m going to call the bird “Rufus.
Here’s a picture of the eggs. And before you castigate me for crappy photos, know that I had to stand on a crate and aim the Fuji in the direction of the nest.

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9 thoughts on “INTRODUCING ZIGGY

  1. Great post, D. Ziggy is awesome — love those cool specs. And what are your birds doing nesting in autumn??? BTW Greg’s grandmother saw the last March 23rd Easter. She was 3 at the time!


  2. fame at last! although of course Z-1881 is more symmetrically satisfying that Z-1887 but not so clever or cool!
    Lovely pictures as per and some of us intend to be around for the next 200+ years so speak for yourself!


  3. such a lovely bird. i love her beautiful brown face.

    i hear this early easter is upsetting some of the saint patty’s day plans…apparently yer not supposed to celebrate any saint’s days between palm sunday and easter.


    butte montana is like 3rd in the country for saint patty’s day parades and green beer drunkenness. it will be interesting to see what finagling they do to rationalize their blasphemous celebrations.


    erin go braless!


  4. andrea…thank you.Up here, several species breed, if not year-round, at least more than once in Spring.

    ziggi…I think he looks better with numerals!How clever of you to notice that!

    cat…still ot sure what this bird is! And I didn’t know you couldn’t celebrate til after Easter. I suppose it’s a give-up-for Lent thing? Never mind, the Oirish will foind a way, t’be sure, t’be sure!


  5. I collect old chilren’s book illustrated by Mr Rackham. . . (don’t know how to write that so it makes sense – antiquarian children’s book? still doesn’t make sense – how can you get an antiquarian child?) and I do so love tree bark and interesting shaped notches!

    the beachs look divine – and what a hearty breakfast one would enjoy after a walk like that!

    can’t wait to see a hatchling or two!

    thank you thank you thank you thank you

    where I currrently live (just off Hotham Rd) is near a pub called The Duke’s Head, which is nextdoor to a Conservative Club drinking establishment with something witty about “thinking” in wrought iron on the gate, on the corner by Putney Bridge is a posh restaurant called The Bridge (not so witty) below which is an old pub that’s been renamed Bar M. . .

    I’m moving around the corner, across the high street and down the road a little, in an easterly direction, so those will still be my nearest pubs – altho there is one directly on the corner of the new road – but I can’t remember its name – towards a fantabulous pub called The Cat’s Back. . .

    on the other side of my new road the underground runs overground – so I’ll be able to wave or semaphore at passing commuters from my roof terrace; if I sunbathe naked, they won’t see me because the roof is set under the level of the edge of the house. . .

    which pub are you thinking of, dear dynamo??


  6. isltv…about that nest…haven’t seen the bird since yesterday afternoon and am a bit concerned. I stood on a box a while ago and got a wobbly picture of 3 eggs.

    Pubs? Gee! I don’t remember the name;whichever was the nearest after we’d watched the Cambridge v Oxford race, so probably ALL the pubs along the river near there!


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